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| Published: December 28, 2021

Exploration of Mental Health in Disney: Prevalence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in popular Disney characters

Taarini Mittal

Member, Research, and Development Team, You’re Wonderful Project Google Scholar More about the auther

, Shivangi Khattar

Co-Head, Research, and Development Team, You’re Wonderful Project Google Scholar More about the auther

, Manya Mograi

Member, Research, and Development Team, You’re Wonderful Project Google Scholar More about the auther

, Manya Khanna

Member, Research, and Development Team, You’re Wonderful Project Google Scholar More about the auther

, Akash Saxena

Co-Founder, You’re Wonderful Project Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.195.20210904

DOI: 10.25215/0904.195

ABSTRACT

The following study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Generalised Anxiety Disorder in popular children’s media characters from Disney movies from the year 2000-2010. Widespread representation of psychological disorders in the media is vital to reduce the stigma surrounding such disorders and prevent underdiagnosis and treatment of patients. One character from each movie was selected using a random generator, and the study used a single-blind design, with 5 participants that were randomly assigned Disney movies to watch to observe the characters’ behaviours and actions. They noted their observations based on the following criteria: general observations, childhood and family history, cognitive, affective, and behavioural components, history of abuse or psychiatric disorders, and a conclusion about the character. Two independent researchers with an IRR of 0.88 analyzed the participants’ consensus on the movies to ensure no outliers. The participants’ responses about each selected character were analysed qualitatively to calculate the prevalence of GAD in Disney characters by comparing the qualitative observations. The independent researchers scored each set of observations using the GAD-7 scale. It was found that only 26% of characters from the most popular Disney movies from 2000-2010 selected at random displayed symptoms of mild anxiety. Hence, it is essential to increase the representation of GAD in children’s media to raise awareness and reduce stigmatization amongst watchers.

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Responding Author Information

Manya Khanna @ manyakhanna28@gmail.com

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

18.01.195.20210904

10.25215/0904.195

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Published in   Volume 09, Issue 4, October- December, 2021